School in Spring. Freedom so close you can taste the poolside popsicles. Teachers open windows for a waft of fresh air. Sunny dispositions abound. Students squirm but they learn. Except, writes teacher Laurie Lichtenstein with weary humor, this is MIDDLE school. In Spring.
What can you and your students accomplish the last few weeks of school? In this MiddleWeb Resource Roundup educators share activities that align learning with fun, offer ideas for responding to stress, and suggest strategies to help sustain your classroom community .
Building People is like a panel discussion on the current state of social emotional learning with 12 authors looking at where SEL is, its future, and ways to use SEL to help kids succeed. Teacher leader Laura Von Staden finds the book a useful if one-sided resource.
Marilee Sprenger shares the “break-up letter” she read to her middle school students to help them become aware of their emotions and find strategies that will work for them and their individual experiences. She includes follow-up activities to build SEL skills for all.
In SPARK!, a book about quick writes, Paula Bourque offers a powerful teaching tool to help students find ideas, discover their voices and build confidence about writing. Teacher educator Linda Biondi notes the frequent, low-stakes writing can stretch across content areas.
Wanting to fit in is not a new phenomena in the middle grades, writes Valentina Gonzalez. Most adolescents experience the urge to be more like their peers. The sooner kids realize how valuable their identity is – how it’s their special power – the better off they will be.
Future-Focused Learning will drive you to think deeply about your instructional practices and consider what you need to change. Alex Valencic likes the book’s focus on what students both need and want to learn and finds it solidly on-target if occasionally frustrating.
Understanding all aspects of a student’s learning “portrait” is critical for us to ensure their success. Although we typically look at areas like readiness or ability, notes teaching expert Barbara Blackburn, we also need to consider culture, Maslow’s hierarchy, and SEL.
What improves achievement by an average 11 percent, increases appropriate social behavior, improves students’ attitudes, and reduces stress? Social Emotional Learning. Author-educator Marilee Sprenger shares brain-wise strategies to blend SEL into your everyday practice.
It is not the skills or rules of sports that our students will remember from our teaching of physical literacy, writes PHE teacher Anthony De Giorgio, but the environment and experiences we provided that allowed them to not only learn, but to also have fun and be a kid.